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2017 Best of Philanthropy Award Winners Announced

Central Carolina Community Foundation and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine will recognize the recipients of the 2017 Best of Philanthropy Awards on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 701 Whaley at 6:00 p.m..

The community is invited to join in the celebration of the everyday individuals, businesses and groups who have made significant contributions to our community throughout the year, demonstrating the true meaning and value of helping others.

Each year, nominations are accepted from the community and winners are chosen in four categories: individual/family, student/student group, local business and young professional. Winners are honored with a $1,000 donation made in their name to the nonprofit organization of their choice in the Foundation’s service area and are featured in the November issue of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine.

Tickets to the Best of Philanthropy Awards are $50 each and include cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 6:00 p.m. followed by a brief awards presentation at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at

This year’s winners are as follows:

Individual/Family Award: Kassy Alia

Kassy Alia founded the organization Heroes in Blue in honor of her late husband, Forest Acres Police Officer Gregory Alia. The organization aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community through empathy and action. Kassy is fighting the spread of discrimination and hate to form a strong, united community.

Local Business: Consultants in Gastroenterology

The staff and medical team at Consultants in Gastroenterology are committed to promoting the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in both the U.S. and South Carolina. Consultants in Gastroenterology (CIG) is an influential leader in bringing the issue of colorectal cancer to the forefront. By providing funds for research, promoting statewide educational initiatives and partnering with free clinics for screenings, CIG has led the charge in reducing the rate of colorectal cancer in South Carolina.

Student/ Student Group: Madison Dinkins

Madison Dinkins goes above and beyond to make a difference in her community.  She created a program called The Birthday Box to honor her late friend McKinsey Cook. The program donates gifts to local children’s shelters to ensure that all children receive a birthday present. She also donates her time to serve dinners at Ronald McDonald Houses and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Young Professional: Jamal Stroud

Jamal Stroud makes impacting children’s lives in Richland County a full time commitment. In addition to his full time position as an adoption specialist with the Department of Social Services, Jamal has founded the Stroud Development Group to mentor and provide guidance for at-risk youth. Jamal also established a $1,000 scholarship for an undergraduate student at his alma mater, Allen University while he was in graduate school.

For more information about Best of Philanthropy or to purchase tickets, visit

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